Candie Kung and Kim Saiki shared the lead after two rounds of the Rochester LPGA yesterday in Pittsford, N.Y. It was the name four spots down the list that was drawing the attention.
Annika Sorenstam shot a 6-under-par 66, the day's best round, to move into sixth place, just three shots behind the leaders.
Kung, a three-time winner on the LPGA Tour, had a 68 at the tree-lined Locust Hill course and was tied at 9-under 135 with Saiki, who is winless in 13 years on tour. She had a second-round 69.
Becky Morgan was one stroke back after a 67, while former Rochester champions Rosie Jones (68) and Juli Inkster (69) were at 137.
After an even-par opening round, Sorenstam charged out in 31 on the front nine, making an eagle on the par-5 8th by holing out from a greenside bunker.
"You don't want to be too far behind when the weekend starts but then again you've got to be patient -- it's a long ways to go," said Sorenstam, who has won four times in eight starts this year. "I'm very happy with my round. Six under is good on any course any day."
Kung, 22, who barged to prominence in her second year on tour, said she has fought for months to recapture last year's red-hot streak when she won the LPGA Takefuji Classic, Wachovia LPGA Classic and the rain-shortened State Farm Classic.
"I've struggled a little bit with my swing but now I think we've got it back," she said. "It's just a bit more smooth.
"I don't know how it's going to go the next two days but I'm going to try to go out there and just do what I did last summer and hopefully I'll be able to get that feel back."
* CHAMPIONS TOUR: Tom Purtzer used his position atop the leader board at the Bank of America Championship in Concord, Mass., as a pulpit to campaign against a looming cart ban for the 50-and-over tour.
"I don't agree with the decision. It's disappointing," he said after shooting a 7-under 65 to take the first round-lead. "I'm just going to really, really have to play good in the 10 to 12 tournaments I'm going to play next year."
Purtzer got a head start on that goal by picking up birdies on three straight holes on the front nine. He dropped to 4 under with another birdie on No. 7 before he bogeyed his way in, three-putting on 8 and hitting his third shot over the green on the par-5 9th.
Purtzer gained a stroke on No. 10 and then came in strong with birdies from Nos. 14-16 before improving to 7 under on the 18th, two-putting from 50 feet.
John Harris had a bogey-free round, making birdie on No. 18 to move to 6 under and into second place on the 6,738-yard Nashawtuc Country Club course. Tom Kite, who was within a stroke of the lead here in 2001 before double-bogeying 17 when his tee shot hit an airborne bird, was among four in third place at 5 under.